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Chang’e-7 Mission: Egypt, Bahrain Join China to Build Hyperspectral Camera

Egypt and Bahrain have joined China as international partners to develop and deliver scientific instruments for the Chang’e-7 mission. The Egyptian Space Agency (EgSA), Bahrain’s National Space Science Agency, and the Changchun Institute of Optics, Fine Mechanics, and Physics signed a cooperation agreement to jointly develop a hyperspectral camera as part of the goal of developing and delivering scientific instruments for the Chang’e-7 mission.

Aim of the Chinese lunar mission

The Chinese lunar mission aimed at searching for water ice at the moon’s South Pole in 2026.

Lunar exploration

In a statement, the CNSA said the project marks the first collaboration between Egypt and Bahrain on lunar exploration, with Egyptian space officials expressing a desire to deepen their partnership with China in future space missions.

Hyperspectral Camera

According to the China National Space Administration (CNSA), the hyperspectral camera, developed by Egypt and Bahrain, will image and analyse lunar surface materials from orbit, including the Moon’s polar regions. In addition, the camera, which is one of the six international payloads chosen by the CNSA for the Chang’e-7 lunar mission, can provide high-quality hyperspectral data for diverse fields, such as environmental monitoring, natural resource surveys, and climate change studies.

Strategic space collaboration

The Bahrain’s space activities focus on earth’s observations, and it seeks to “establish itself as the hub for regional space cooperation, given its modest budget and its geographical position between Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the UAE, among whom there is much competition and rivalry”. Egypt is more advanced in terms of number of satellites in orbit and the establishment of a new satellite assembly, integration, and testing facility with the assistance of China. “Arab countries are willing to seek cooperative space projects with each other to build capacity, share costs, and achieve mutual strategic objectives.

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